October 27, 2009

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You’ve Asked, I’ll Answer

I’ve received a lot of questions via e-mail and DM, and I figure it’s time to post the answers for all to see. Combine this with a healthy dose of narcissism (I’m only human) and I present you with a Q&A: Haute Mess Edition.

What inspired you to start a blog? I thought a blog was a great way to communicate my love for fashion, express my personal style and get some casual writing experience under my belt. It took me a while to get up the nerve to do it; for someone who puts pictures of themselves online I’m actually very self-conscious. I am so glad that I started blogging though - I didn’t realize how much I would love it, and I’ve met so many fabulous and inspiring people because of it.

Who is your favourite designer? I have SO many. For starters, Karl, of course: both for his work and his eccentricities. Marc Jacobs, Christophe Decarnin, Nicolas Ghesquière, Alber Elbaz, Kate and Laura Mulleavy at Rodarte, and Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough at Proenza Schouler. Though she’s not a “favourite” yet I’m pretty stoked on what Hannah MacGibbon is doing at Chloé.

What is your favourite designer item in your closet? I must say my favourite item in my closet is a vintage YSL babydoll dress. It’s one of those special items that I’ll have forever, and hopefully be able to pass on to my daughter, niece, grandchild, godchild, tranny child or whatever life throws my way.

My favourite item in my closet.

What’s one item you can’t live without? I’m going to say something that’s going to make fashionistas everywhere scream “blasphemy” and throw Louboutins through my windows. I can’t live without sweatpants! It’s true. I love great outfits but I love lounging in my “evening wear." But before you toss that stiletto, I also can't live without my vintage jewelry. Most of it was given to me by my mom so it has sentimental value attached to it.

Where are your favourite places to thrift shop and shop for vintage? In Vancouver I like taking a trip down Commercial Drive to Little Miss Vintage and Mintage or to Deluxe Junk in Gastown. In general I like to thrift shop at Value Village and the Salvation Army. My advice for thrifting is going a bit out of town. I always find the best items in the suburbs, and the stores are always much cleaner and easier to search through. My best advice is never expect to find the perfect item, 90% of the time you're going to need to alter something, so try and see potential in the pieces you're rummaging through.

Some of my favourite vintage pieces.

What is your favourite place to shop online? I love Chickdowntown.com because they always have promotions for their mailing list and I love their selection ranging from low to high price points. They also have a great vintage section with really unique pieces. Topshop.com is another favourite of mine – they don’t deliver to Canada but I’m lucky that my brother lives in Boston and puts up with me. (Thank you Jamie!)

What’s your favourite trend right now or must have for this season? I’m really into the fun footwear trend, from bondage inspired heels and cut-out booties to over-the-knee boots. I’m obsessed with my boots – I’m having a hard time not wearing them everyday! I also love the socks with sandals (don’t hate) seen at the Christian Dior S/S10 show… I’ve already bought a pair of silver and a pair of gold socks.

Christian Dior S/S10 Show. (Pictures from Style.com)

Where does your style inspiration come from: Everywhere – from the streets to the runways! Magazines and blogs are great too.

What do you wear when you’re feeling uninspired? Something easy, like a comfortable day-dress or jeans, flats and a James Perse tee.

Is there anything you refuse to wear? This is a tough question, I do like to try everything, sometimes to my own demise. I just try to avoid wearing things that I feel bad in, for example, if I’m having one of those days where I feel like a whale I won’t wear a body-conscious silhouette. I used to rarely wear heels because I was self-conscious about my height, I’m 5’8” so in heels about 6 feet tall. Now I couldn’t care less and I stomp around town in my thigh highs and Louboutins. I also wouldn’t wear Christian Audigier or Smet or any of those things.

Big heels = no big deal.

Can you recommend any beauty products? I love Dior Diorshow mascara and I treat myself to it sometimes (ie. Sephora trips with mom), but an awesome more wallet-friendly staple is CoverGirl Lash Blast. Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer is great too. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is amazing, but next time I buy foundation I’m going to try Bare Escentuals bare Minerals foundation. I’ve heard great things, and all my friends swear by it.

What do you suggest investing in this season? Since I live in the rainiest place ever (sorry Twi-hards but Forks, WA is a lie – they film the movies here for a reason), I’m going to say a great coat or pair of boots. Many have asked, and to answer: my thigh highs are from Zara. I bought them in Europe but I’m sure they’re available in North America as well.

What are your fashion DOs and DON’Ts? There are many, but a few key ones…
DO wear leggings. They can be extremely versatile.
DON’T wearing leggings as pants. Cover your bum! Otherwise they’re trashy and vulgar. Harsh but true.

mix patterns, prints and colours.
DON’T feel obligated to be perfectly matching. Sometimes odd combinations will pleasantly surprise you. Our mothers’ days of matching shoes, purse and jewelry are over.

accessorize. Sometimes a statement necklace or great belt are all you need to take that black dress up a notch.
DON’T overaccessorize. Quite often, less is more.

take risks. Fashion is fun!
DON’T be afraid to wear something outrageous. I repeat, fashion is fun!

Thanks everyone for your e-mails, tweets and comments! Always feel free to get in touch.


  1. Great post! "Big heels = no big deal." Haha love it.

    Hope you feel better soon!


  2. Yes to footwear trends! Love those thigh high boots on you - hot! And damn niki, you're tall! You're my polar opposite haha. I keep meaning to try mineral foundation too, will have to get on that. I think Zara carries the leather version of those boots not the suede ones so great find, you're probably the only one in Vancouver that has a pair like that ;) don't you just love that? haha

    Yes, must agree and reiterate the DO's and DON'Ts for leggings, please cover your bum! but overall I agree with all of the above; great advice.

    Hope you feel better soon Niki - take care!

  3. I so agree regarding leggings! I hated them for a long time, but yeah, with a tunic or long cardi they're not that bad! People need to learn to cover up their bums, though. :D

  4. Fantastic post, darling!
    Love your YSL babydoll and your DOs and DONTs!
    You are gorgeous, btw!


  5. Great post. I enjoyed the Q&A. The photos were awesome too.

  6. Oooh I love this post. I am always so excited to learn more about my BBs (blogging buddies). Hehe. You have some great answers. I agree with all your dos and don'ts. :)

  7. What a great interview! Love your style!


  8. your YSL piece is absolutely timeless and gorgeous!!

    take good care of that baby! :)

  9. i just came across your blog and i must say i love your style. i had no idea u are from Vancouver as well. loved this interview. keep on rocking.

  10. The Dior collection was so gorgeous.

  11. great tips. scary but i usually live in cute sweatpants at home with a little tee. : )

  12. All pure eyecandy pics dear, love love love this post!

  13. just found your blog, love your fashion insight and outift pictures! i swear vancouver girls have the best style

  14. Great Q&A! You're a very stylish lady!

  15. awesome post! gotta agree with you on..wow, pretty much everything!

    i am actually incredibly self-conscious as well, so yay to us both for having to nerve to put ourselves out there!

  16. great q&a - very detailed. and your ysl dress is a stunner :)


  17. What a fabulous post. Excellent tips and your YSL dress is adorable. I spy some of my fav Loubs as well. : )

  18. oh wow are those your legs i spot in thigh high boots ?

    if so i am so jealous i cant swallow...

  19. SO jealous you're from vancouver!

    great post

    added you to my blogroll :)


  20. Olá! thank you for your kind words ;) It's almost weekend, yeah! ^^ Come check the new posts, hope u enjoy it.

    Following you via rss feed, follow me too ;)
    @ MaisonChaplin.blogspot.com

  21. I love the dress and sequin jacket!
    Nice outfits girl!
    X, fashion-nerdic.

  22. Fun post! Love your vint YSL dress!!


  23. i love your style and really enjoy what you bring to fashion blogging...


  24. What a fun Q&A! I'm the same about heels... I'm as tall as you and my mom used to hate me wearing them (I'm already taller than her as it is), but I don't really care, especially as my guy is tall enough to handle it ;-) Love the vintage YSL... such an adorable dress!

    By the way, I left you an award on my blog :)

  25. woahmahgawsh YSL dress!! love!
    and that floral thrifted dress is amazing!!!!


  26. Hi dear!
    Wonderful post, and I really like you in black dress! Gorgeous!


  27. love this post. love to read stuff like this. it's like 'cyber getting to know you'.

    click here to visit me at Mode Junkie!

  28. Hi,
    Thanks for commenting on our blog! Re. Hilary Duff's Tunic we both like, I did some more research and found out she is wearing the 'Ossie' stripe tunic by Ella Moss. It is currently available for $110 at Nordstrom, which is waaaaay over my budget so I did another post with similar tunics for less! Check it out!

  29. love, love, LOVE the thigh high boots. and as for the socks and heels/sandals trend? i am OBSESSED

  30. cool blog


  31. yay thanks everyone for such lovely comments! glad you enjoyed it. i love getting email so seriously.. keep em coming! xoxo

  32. You look so gorgeous in those floral dresses -- that bold vintage one is my favourite.

    Hooray for small worlds! I'm sure I'll see you at the club soon.


  33. I'll have to check out chickdowntown.com, sounds great! And yes, you are very lucky to have your brother in Boston, I love topshop and always want to order from them! I guess i have to get one of those illegal mailboxes in Blaine or something...haha. Thanks for sharing, you always look fabulous :)

    P.S. My fb status a while back was "reminder: leggings are not a substitute for pants" ;)

  34. You have an amazing vintage collection!
    Also loving your over-the-knee boots - you have the perfect pair!

  35. Agree, its good to get comfy in cozy sweats.

  36. Really love all the pictures in this post, great!!

  37. i loved reading this!
    and your vintage pieces are so pretty.

  38. I really enjoyed reasing this... You look great in all the pictures and your advice couldn't be more spot on!

  39. I wish more people would listen to your "don't" about not wearing leggings as pants. ;)


  40. Love this interview! I swear by Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer and Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation too!

  41. Great post! That vintage YSL dress is absolutely adorable,and definitely an amazing find